ETST 100 - Introduction to Ethnic Studies (GT-SS3)

  • 3 credits

Introduction to Ethnic Studies (ETST 100) is the foundation course for ethnic studies. The purpose of the course focuses on a different view of the diverse people in the United States from what is typically presented in public schools. The topics of multiculturalism, race as a social construct, race as a mediator of social relations, the challenges of race and the promise of equality, and new transformations regarding a new national dialogue about race will be studied.

Upon the completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Articulate in writing and orally an understanding of the role of race in the way history is recorded in the United States.
  • Be familiar with current literature related to the role of race in the United States.
  • Engage in conversations about race with people of color and white people.

This course is presented in eight modules, with each module lasting one week. Each module consists of a reading from the required text, a reflective journal entry, a written annotated bibliography entry focused on one journal article, watching a video and writing a reflective response. In addition, there is a final assignment consisting of five blog entries related to conversations with marginalized people. So, the course takes eight weeks to complete. Students are asked to complete all tasks in each module each week before moving on. Students are also asked to not work ahead.

This course meets the All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC) requirements for Global and Cultural Awareness (Category 3E) and is approved under gtPathways in the content area of Human Behavior, Culture, or Social Frameworks (GT-SS3).

This course can be applied toward:

Textbooks and Materials

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


  • A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America (2008)
    Takaki, R.


Tom Cavanagh

(970) 491-7532 |

I reside in Fort Collins, Colorado, right next to the Rocky Mountains, where I spend time hiking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter. I have degrees from four post-high school institutions, including graduate degrees in Organizational Leadership from Regis University in Denver and Educational Leadership from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. I began my interest in restorative justice while volunteering at the Denver Catholic Worker House in 1996. My personal and professional work has centered on restorative justice since that time. Following graduation with my PhD, I spent a year in New Zealand on a Fulbright Fellowship and four more years working for a research project called Te Kotahitanga at the University of Waikato. Since 2003 I have worked on developing and putting into practice a theory of a culture of care based on the principles of restorative justice in schools. You can learn more about my work and review some of my published articles on my website at

My research interests focus on the areas of restorative justice and restorative practices in schools using culturally appropriate methodologies; exploring how we can create peaceful and caring relationships; exploring what young people want to learn about (a) peace, (b) legitimating the reality of their lives, which are filled with violence and war, and (c) discovering and encouraging their passion for living together in peace; how schools can use restorative practices to respond to student wrongdoing and conflict in conjunction with a culturally appropriate pedagogy of relations in classrooms, under the umbrella of a culture of care, to create safe schools. In particular, I am concerned about the school-to-prison pipeline for our culturally diverse students and the political and educational policies that support this pipeline.